I Like Religious People

I just have to talk about this. 🙂 Both Ghana and Indonesia are full of religious people. Both consist of diverse religious beliefs, and in both cases the people manage to co-exist peacefully. (There are some minority groups fighting each other though… I am not going to lie about it, and again, such fights happen in both countries).  Have I mentioned that Ghana consist of the most devout Christians community I have ever seen? Well, for this particular reason, I like Ghana. 🙂 I like religious people regardless what religion.

OmkarI am not a life guru to speak about what life is in general. But based on my experience of travelling and meeting people, those who are religious (or honestly believe in the existence of God), are the most peaceful, kind, serene, and tolerant people I have ever met.

Religious people (or believers) have a certain aura about them. Calm. Content. Worry less. Have a steady view of life. And believe it or not, they are just happier people (compared to their nonbelievers counterpart). I personally have been bugged by nonbelievers (or atheists) about my faith and religion, and never have the same problem coming from fellow religious people even when they belong to a totally different faith.

Islam symbolWhen I was still working for Siemens, my 3 favourite close friends were Catholic, Protestant, and Hindu. The Catholic always reminded me to go to prayer if I was still at my computer at 4 pm, the same way I always let her borrow my motorbike to go to her church every evening and I always made sure my motorbike would always be available. I never ate beef when I was out dining with the Hindu girl, and the same way they would try not to eat pork when they’re eating with me. The reason being: Respect. Now in Ghana, most of my friends are Buddhist, although some are Christians.  We have been extremely tolerant, I am very proud with how things are going in my life.

Well, the thing with us -religious people- is… we simply accept that we are different. Not worse, not better, just different. And yet our mutual beliefs of God seem to bind us somewhat.

And then there is the atheist side of life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind atheists at all. As much as I want people to respect my faith, I respect the atheists for not having any. But there are 2 types of atheists that I have encountered in my life. The first type is the kind of atheists who simply don’t believe in the existence of God, but let other people have their faith. The second type is the kind of atheists who not only disbelieve, but also pester other people as to why they believe in God to the extent of ‘boohooing’ them.

CrossTo share a bit more… when I lived in the ‘western countries’ (won’t name them), when I told people that I am religious and sincerely believe in the existence of God, the most common reactions I got were: a frown, raised eye brows, a “why?”, a bemused look, and an awkward silence (often followed by a fierce argument that religion is the sole reason this world is totally f*cked up). It’s never an easy “oh ok, we understand” situation. It is a lot easier to say I am a Muslim to a Christian, than to say I believe in God to a nonbeliever.

The modern world -usually from the advance western countries- are the least religious places as we speak (yeah… yeah… I know that we can find both atheists and religious people anywhere in the world). >>But why is it that the poor are those who would normally be religious? I’m still searching for an answer to that. >>Is it true that the religiousness of a country prevent the people from advancing properly? Maybe. >>Is it true that religions can’t work side by side with the modern way of life? Probable. >>But why do we need to advance to a certain level that is defined by others anyway? The aborigines don’t need to be dressed up or to learn the Internet. They were happy exactly as they were. >>Is it wrong to just be happy with what we currently have and progress slowly (if anything at all)?  No.

This whole thing begs for the question: Is ambition a virtue anyway? Now that question, my friends… still causes my husband and I to have heated debates to this date… 😀

Dian Retno Wulandari. Religious and proud.

PS: Please remember that the crusades were more about the leaders and their politics, and less about the religions.

Advertisements

How to Prove God Is There

Well, we can’t prove it. Period.

But we can feel it, if we allow ourselves to. It’s rather like when someone loves you. How do you prove it to other people that you’re being loved by someone? By telling the world that you get nice diamonds, and some nice flowers every weekend? Or by telling the world that the someone sends you text every 5 minutes?

No, only you can tell that someone loves you. But how? To put it simply, it’s because you feel it. It is of course a whole combination of things, the kind that only you and your lover will understand. Your gardener won’t understand it, your maid won’t understand it, and even your psychologist won’t understand it.

The same applies to one’s faith of God’s existence. Because one feels it. It is not much more complicated than that, really… And no guys…, we believe in the existence of God NOT because we are dumb or delusional or can’t cope with science. Please don’t reduce it down to stupidity.

I happen to belong to a religion that does encourage science, and God knows I truly believe in science, I was so good at it I wanted to be an astrophysicist (I ended up as an industrial statistician instead, since it’s economically more viable).

While I am a true believer of God, I don’t believe in creationism. I am, therefore, a huge fan of the Big Bang Theory and Darwin’s evolutions. I also seriously doubt that babies fall from the sky -even if they’re brought down by storks. 🙂

(I consider myself lucky as my religion taught us that everything in the world happens after following some kind of processes, therefore I don’t need to go through the hassles of separating science from faith, or naturalism from creationism.)

But how do I quantify the existence of God? (Putting aside the baffling question: what/who holds the universe in place) my easiest answer is classic: God answers my prayers -even though I get a “No!” quite frequently. 🙂

Certain things have happen in my life that strikingly relate to what I have prayed for. Things that can’t be just coincidences after coincidences. Strange things that only happens if I’ve prayed for it.

You’re dying for me to give examples, right? 😀 Ok, here are two for you:

  1. Many years ago, I prayed to God: “Lord, please let me know if my boyfriend is messing around with another girl.” — Two hours later my boy friend accidentally sent a text to me that was supposed to be sent to his other girl. (sad example, I know)
  2. I am totally useless at all things music, thus I am blind to musical notes. I don’t even know why there’s a sign that looks like a G at the beginning of all musical notes. So when I was 15, the night before Art&Music exam I prayed: “Lord, please let me answer those notes thingy correctly. Let me get an A for Art&Music Lord… I need it so that I can be the best in class this term” — During exam the next day, I scribbled through the blank paper for musical note pretending that it was just some easy quadratic equation, sweating my head off nevertheless.  Two weeks later my exam result came in. Lo and behold, I got an excellent A for Music. I magically put every single note at the right grid with the right punctuation with the right interval… everything! I fell down on my knee holding the result paper. 🙂 Anyway, regardless the miracle, I only came second in my class that term.

Now then, enough examples, it’s not as if it’s going to change anything for you, right? Having said that, answered-prayers is just one way of quantifying God’s existence for me. My relationship with God is a lot more complex than just asking and giving, but I’ll keep the rest to myself for now.

If you’re an atheist and say: “So why does God never answer my prayers?!”

Well, back at you: “Did you pray at all?” or “Did you really believe that Someone is listening?”

Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mind atheists, not at all… Atheists could be some of the most fun people I’ve met. And if you choose not to believe in God, and you are happier like that, well then good for you.

But here I make a plea to those atheists who keep condescend the believer of God by having verbal diarrhoea about how believers do so only because we are stupid, or backward, or ancient, or brainwashed, or delusional, or dense, etc… to please stop condescending. It is just… uhm… not very nice.

There…, my 2 cents (or should I say 2 pesewas..?) 🙂

Dian Retno Wulandari.

PS: Whichever way God manifests for you (Allah, Jehovah, Brahman, Achaman, whatever…) please be at peace with it, we all know that –in any case- believing is harder than not believing.

PPS:

In Islam: God exists without a place. God is not limited to time and space, nor is God composed of particles and atoms. God is unique. God is an invisible omnipotent presence.

“God is closer to a man than his jugular vein.” [Al-Quran 50:16]

In Christianity: God is immanent. God is with and within all things. God is transcendent, God is outside time and space, therefore eternal and unchangeable by forces within the universe.

“You cannot see God, and live” [Exodus 33:20]